Mom blames husband after driving kids into ocean off Daytona Beach
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 06:33:34 AM EDT
A new police report says the first thing a pregnant South Carolina woman said after driving a minivan carrying her three young children into the ocean surf off Florida was that she was abused by her husband.
The report released Monday says a Daytona Beach safety officer asked Ebony Wilkerson if she was injured after she swerved the car into the ocean last week. Wilkerson responded with the abuse allegation.
Wilkerson is being held on $1.2 million bail. She is charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of child abuse.
Wilkerson, 32, had a dependency hearing on Monday involving the custody of her kids.
Wilkerson's public defender, James Purdy, told Local 6 a judge will decide if her children will stay in state custody, be placed in foster care or go to stay with relatives.
Wilkerson, 32, was arrested at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach on three counts of premeditated attempted first-degree murder and three counts of child abuse, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said at a news conference.
Her children -- ages 3, 9 and 10 -- were not seriously injured in the incident and were rescued by beach officials and onlookers. The children were placed in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
One of the children said that Wilkerson, who is 27 weeks pregnant, locked the doors of the van, put the windows up and drove into the surf, saying she was doing it to “keep all of us safe.”
One of the children told another officer that their mother was "sleepwalking."
Both attorneys for the state and Wilkerson argued about if the children will be placed in foster care or with relatives. The judge could make a decision within the next month.
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